Harry Partch: Redefining the Possible at Every Turn

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This 2001 episode of WNYC's Spinning on Air marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer Harry Partch. Host David Garland plays a mix of Partch's music and recorded speech, including introductions to and performances on Partch's exotic array of home-made instruments.

Partch is often mentioned in the same breath as the 43-note, microtonal scale he pioneered, but he bristled at the notion that the scale was representative of his work, preferring to think of it only as a minor tool involved in the process. Departures from traditional scales were certainly a part of his legacy, but Partch's most maverick of breakthroughs continue to center around the invention and expansion of musical instruments.

Music heard in this interview includes Eight Hitchhiker Inscriptions from a Highway Railing in Barstow, California with Harry Partch and John Stannard recorded in the 1960's and Ulysees Departs from the Edge of the World from 1971

From March 8-30, From the Archives streams weekdays at 7 AM and 8 PM on Q2 Music. For more information on American Mavericks, visit q2music.org/mavericks/.